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An earlier thread about MDI existence made me wonder, for an application that requires the following characteristics: - client side application (not run in the browser) - has several (more than let's say 50) windows or similar - windows are typically very different from each other in layout and functionality - requires integration with other locally installed applications on client - for the user, it's often beneficial to see selected information from another window while working on another
Well, that's actually hard to answer since it depends on the situation. But I'd guess 1-4 is a common amount of simultaneous windows. However, note that these can be any windows from the application, not specific ones
I'd want MDI. Or something similar like the modern versions of Visual Studio. Some method to move and size the windows (at least to some extent.) If you have multiple big monitors, who cares. If you you're stuck on a single notebook or other small industrial display, common in my little world, that would become more important.
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How many window are typically needed at the same time?
We have operators who can be tracking up to 48 web browser sessions - we had to get an exception to use Firefox instead of IE becuase of IE's 40-session limit (windows or tabs, across all IE windows). A refinery central control system might easily support this many windows. There's always an application out there that confounds your assumptions.
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In what sounds like a similar sort of situation, I designed a framework sort of like vs2010 where each view was docked by default to a particular part of a window , but could be undocked and stand alone in a window, and have other views docked to it.
Wasn't too hard to develop the basics to do so, and gave the user complete flexibility as to where each view would be displayed.
I used a couple of styles - one scrollable and one scaling; frankly neither were perfect, but using wpf the scaling was easy enough and, I felt, the better option - the user could recognize the content, and simply click an icon to pop it up into its own window, sized appropriately
MDI was a very "ugly" solution to having a lot of windows around, hiding-and-showing them, and "hot-swapping" menu-items: it is, imho: deservedly deprecated, now.
This seems like the kind of question appropriate for the "Design and Architecture" forum. If you post it there, I'll respond, depending on to what degree you clarify what the application is, as described next:
I think to get any meaningful responses, you are going to need to disclose much more about what the application is: what it does; who uses it; what technology you are going to use to build it (C# ? WinForms ?), etc.
I also suggest you cite (give a link to) the source of the previous discussion about MDI you refer to. And, make much more specific what you mean by the statement: "requires integration with other locally installed applications on client:" which could mean so many things.
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